“22 Jump Street” is exactly like the first film, but in college

Image courtesy of 2013 Columbia Pictures Industries.
Image courtesy of 2013 Columbia Pictures Industries.

The hilarious duo that is Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill is back again to go undercover and they’re causing all kinds of trouble. However this is “22 Jump Street” and this isn’t another high school infiltration job. As Ice Cube’s Captain Dickson bluntly puts it: “you two sons of bitches are going to college.”

After destroying half of Metro City Port when catching drug lord Ghost (Peter Stormare), officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum)are sent back to Jump Street, a division of the Metro City Police Department.

Their new undercover job has the duo act as college freshmen (although everyone clearly sees they are way too old to be 19) while investigating the distribution of a new drug at MC State called WhyPhy (wifi). A mix of Adderall and acid, WhyPhy helps students work hard and then play hard. After a student dies due to the drug, Jenko and Schmidt’s job is to fit in as regular college freshmen and find the dealer so that they can stop WhyPhy from going viral and affecting other schools.

This film is not only an action packed, hilarious cop-comedy but also a parody of sequels in general. Throughout the movie, Schmidt and Jenko (and the audience) are reminded that this is the same type of case they worked while in high school. Captain Dickson and his boss Deputy Chief Hardy (Nick Offerman) repeatedly tell the duo to do the same thing they did in “21 Jump Street.”

Tatum and Hill’s performance as partners and best friends is phenomenal and they fall into their rolls effortlessly. They make the audience believe in their bromance and show how two people that are totally different can come to enjoy each others’ differences.

The movie has some great humor such as scenes of Jenko and Schmidt making fools of themselves at a poetry slam and in their classes.They trip out on the drug accidentally (following the formula of “21 Jump Street”), although this trip doesn’t live up to the tripping scene in the first movie.

One of the funniest moments in the film is when Jenko and Schmidt pay a visit to Eric (Dave Franco) and Mr. Walters (Rob Riggle), the criminals who they put in jail in the first movie, so they can get some expert bad guy advice. The audience will be grateful to see those four reunite in a string of improvised jokes that in the end help our heroes realize that not everything is as it seems.

As the movie goes on, Jenko and Schmidt’s bromance is tested as they try to solve the case. They have trouble fitting into the same cliques, like in the first film, and they act as if they were an old married couple. This sets the scene for the homoerotic jokes that Jenko and Schmidt love to share with each other. The jokes weren’t too racy because they were always in the context of a really close brotherhood, but at times it was a bit excessive.

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in "22 Jump Street." Photo by Glen Wilson @ 2013 Columbia Pictures Industries.
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in “22 Jump Street.” Photo by Glen Wilson @ 2013 Columbia Pictures Industries.

Through their classes, friendships and couples counseling, Jenko and Schmidt learn that they are nothing alike but that their friction creates the fire which makes them such a great team.

I give “22 Jump Street”three out of four stars. This was a great buddy-cop flick with plenty of car chases and shootouts. The movie keeps the audience laughing the whole time and I recommend it to anyone who likes comedy and action, especially students starting their first year of college. And please stick around for the credits.